Thursday, December 31, 2009

Humboldt, Monte Chimborazo y los Victorianos

En un momento dado el Monte Chimborazo, en Ecuador, se consideraba el punto mas alto del planeta ( pero luego fue destronado por los montes peruanos y los de las Himalayas. Claro, siempre esta el purista, que alega que sigue siendo el punto mas lejos del centro de la Tierra, y prueba su razon, aprovechando la forma esferica oblata del planeta, que tiene un diametro mayor en el Ecuador que en los Himalayas o Peru. Un tecnicismo valido pero que no descarta el hecho de que los Himalayas es el mas alto a nivel de ras del suelo. El articulo donde vi eso se encuentra aqui:
y la controversia la resumo aqui:
Farthest from the Earths Center???
As stated in the Overview, Chimborazo's summit is the farthest point one can get from the center of the Earth and still be on land. It is about 2160m farther from the center than Everest's summit. This is only possible because the Earth is in the shape of an oblate spheroid, i.e., it is flattened (squashed) at the poles and bulging at the equator. Here is a diagram (based on Klenke's Excel spreadsheet). His spreadsheet can calculate the distance from the center of the earth for any point on the Earth's surface (of known elevation above sea level). If you want to know the radial distance for some mountain or place, let Klenke know and he will calculate it for you.

Pero si eres como aqui en la Alcantarilla, es mas facil ver la imagen y entender el concepto del susodicho Klenke:

(ah, este Klenke... Ok ya estoy entendiendo...esta en esa edad)
Anyway, no soy ni alpinista ni geografo, pero me gustan los mapas, sobre todos los antiguos y averigue esta montaña en el siguiente articulo de BiblioOdessey:
Donde mencionan a Alexander Von Humboldt y su excelente trabajo de clasificar las especies de flora de este monte por elevacion. Un proyecto impresionante dado el año en que se completo. Aqui esta la imagen, el mapa y la tabla en una coleccion interactiva de la Universidad de Kansas.
La epoca de este proyecto fue en el 1810, lo que hace que su obra sea increiblemente excepcional. En esta pagina se ilustra su contribucion a la Botanica y a las teorias evolutivas y ecologicas que tanto estudiamos ahora:

Accessing Humboldt's Discoveries

During their exploration of the Americas, Humboldt and Bonpland observed thousands of plants unknown in Europe. They described them in detail and supervised the preparation of colored lithographs. Although the digital library will eventually accommodate the entire range of descriptions and images, at the present time the Chimborazo figure illustrates how it is possible to access information about the plants that Humboldt considered the most important.
The user can ascertain when and where Humboldt and Bonpland located the 700 plants of the Nova Genera et Species Plantarum. The digital library provides all relevant data to recreate the geographical context of these plants. On the
basis of Humboldt's precise information, it is possible to determine how plant
life and the environment have changed in the last 200 years.

Este link lleva a la litografia original

Este link permite dar zoom al mas minimo detalle de la placa
Por supuesto, Humboldt fue solo uno de estos cientificos del siglo 19 que quiso mejorar la visualizacion de informacion de rios y montañas. Verifiquen esta serie de placas hechas por otros autores que presenta BiblioOdessey en su pagina:

Este de los rios es de 1836...

Finalmente ato otro articulo de Biblioodessey con la obsesion victoriana de presentar informacion visualmente...

Me llamo la atencion particularmente esta placa puesto que presenta una historia de la humanidad y pone las razas como rios. Ademas de que pone como fecha de creacion la aceptada en la epoca de 4693 BC. Citando:

Tableau De L'Histoire Universelle depuis la Creation jusqu'a ce jour
This is a fold-out print depicting all of human history from the time of
creation (4693 BC = Adam & Eve; the great flood = 3300 BC) up to the date of
publication (1858 by Eug. Pick, Paris). Vignettes of historically significant
people, places and buildings etc are arranged along the borders.This audacious
document mirrors the style of a similar graphical print by Colton from 1842 [I
don't think it's online] and is in the same ballpark as an 1836 chart by Emma
Willard ( The designer has employed something of a metaphorical display choice: civilisations are presented as a series of rivers -- the widths likely imply the comparative population level of each group versus the world's population -- which 'flow' down through history.

Esto es otra historia, la cronografia Ussher (,
clave del Creacionismo de la epoca.

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Dec 31 has a Blue Moon

December 31, 2009 will have a full moon. Since there are two full moons on this month it is called a Blue Moon. According to NASA the last time this occurred was in 1990. Here is the link:

We can have a theme party...let's see Blue Moon + New Year + Avatar = Smurfette has babies...jakesully suffer.

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Transgender Handwriting + Microbiology

(courtesy of Nikon - James Hayden - Anglerfish Ovary)

First Nikon, now Olympus

Here are some great microscopic photos. Nikon and Olympus sponsor annual microscopic photograhic competitions. I already mentioned Nikon's at . . .
. . .boing boing now linked to the Olympus one:
liked this video
Amateur microbiologists, wastewater operators or other lovers of the Lilliputian agents rejoice at the beauty too small for us to see with a naked eye.

Then this an alternate from Nikon

Pseudoscience - Graphology
This article, which I found without looking, is rather interesting because it establishes that gender can be usually be guessed with handwriting. Maybe is because what we are hardwired to do. You hang with girls you get girly handwriting (or something shallow like that). I like writing in block capitals because it is clearer than freehand.

I do understand that transsexuals would like to change their writing to be more 'feminine'. That is the point of their blending. To be fully a woman (or a man), up to the little details of handwriting. Going against what is taught on years of human development. Here is the article:

On this issue I only have a single question. If I was created a woman, trapped inside a man's body shouldn't I be able to write like a woman naturally? I know it is a shallow question. You act like the rest. A Chinese story indicates the story of the king that proved the natural language was Chinese by keeping a new born baby in a cage without contact from the rest of the world (or so he thought) and seeing the language he spoke was Chinese. His story had a flaw, the child must communicate his needs for food and water in the language his keepers would understand, and that language was conveniently, Chinese. If Incans did the test the kid would speak Incan.

Prejudice is a bitch. We put it in all we do, we even create phony science like Graphology or Phrenology ( to predict people's behavior.

Here is an article against graphology:

Anyway, here is the article's suggestion to write more femininely:

The best general advice is to slow down while writing. Here are 25 other helpful suggestions:

    1. Stay relaxed!
    2. Don’t grip the writing instrument too tightly.
    3. Don’t press too hard.
    4. Always have a pad of paper, blotter, or other flat surface under the paper. Do not write with a sheet of paper directly on a desk surface.
    5. Write from the wrist or elbow instead of the fingers.
    6. Don’t use fine point pens or mechanical pencils.
    7. Use a medium ball point pen, felt tip marker, or fountain pen with a medium to heavy nib.
    8. Consistency is key—all letters should be uniform in shape and size.
    9. All letters should have the same slight amount of slanting.
    10. Write more slowly than you usually do.
    11. Write a little larger than you usually do.
    12. Space your letters out a bit more.
    13. Avoid sharp angles.
    14. Think smooth, not spiky.
    15. Use slightly curved instead of straight lines.
    16. Make arched letters convex, not concave.
    17. Make letters with circles more open and loopy.
    18. Don't lift your pen off the page when forming a letter, except for t and x, and when dotting your i and j.
    19. Use a very tiny circle to dot any i or j and for commas, periods, exclamation points, and question marks.
    20. Add slight flourishes to all letters with tails.
    21. Add a slight hook to all letters that end on a downstroke.
    22. Double back more on letters that require that movement.
    23. Printing instead of using cursive may be easier.
    24. Don’t use block capitals.
    25. Don’t exchange any letters that should be lowercase for capitals.
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nakatomi Space / Geologists and Port au Prince

He estado acatarrado estos ultimos dias y he descuidado mis actividades diarias, incluyendo el actualizar este blog. Seguimos solidarios y teniendo en oracion a nuestros hermanos Haitianos y su desgracia. Literalmente se tiene que caer Port au Prince dentro de su falla para que el ser humano comun y corriente descubra que tenemos un pais sumido en la miseria a menos de 45 minutos de nosotros. El Name no lo pudo resumir mejor
Por aquello de no regurguitar lo que me han estado empujando en el televisor desde la semana pasada les incluyo un comunicado que enviaron varios geologos de mi oficina por medio de la red sismica. En ellos indican factores que influenciaron la magnitud del sismo. Mi preocupacion en este caso es que los edificios de la Zona Bancaria, Santurce y otras areas sensitivas estan fundadas sobre humedales rellenados por muchas generaciones pasadas de nuestros ancestros. Mas aun, con esto de robar camara y aparentar ser utiles, nuestros lideres podran mobilizar los recursos de la manera mas efectiva posible? Viendo como se manejo Gulf lo dudo mucho.
Gulf estuvo lleno de buenas intenciones, pero de pobre ejecucion. Se saltaron cadenas de mando, los velaguira locales, incluyendo a Fortu/no querian hacer que hacian algo con conferencias de prensa a cada rato. Solo den gracias al Altisimo que ni llovio ni estallo mas de lo que tenia que estallar. Pero dejemos ese tema, ahora a dos temas de interes que vi en la web:
Nakatomi Space

Regurguitado de BLDGBLOG.

Usar el interior de los edificios, rompiendo paredes a la Die Hard o la trilogia de Bourne para invadir territorios. Este articulo expone como esto ha sido usado en incursiones militares en el medio oriente. Aqui les incluyo el link original:

Image: Israeli troops scan walls in a refugee camp; photo by Nir Kafri (2003), from Eyal Weizman's essay "Lethal Theory"].

A continuacion algunos 'highlights' del articulo:

While watching Die Hard the other night—one of the best architectural films of the past 25 years—I kept thinking about an essay called "Lethal Theory" by Eyal Weizman—itself easily one of the best and most consequential architecture texts of the past decade (pdf aqui: In it, Weizman—an Israeli architect—documents many of the emerging spatial techniques used by the Israeli Defense Forces in their high-tech, legally dubious 2002 invasion of Nablus. During that battle, Weizman writes, "soldiers moved within the city across hundred-meter-long 'overground-tunnels' carved through a dense and contiguous urban fabric." Their movements were thus almost entirely camouflaged, with troop movements hidden from above by virtue of always remaining inside buildings. "Although several thousand soldiers and several hundred Palestinian guerrilla fighters were maneuvering simultaneously in the city," Weizman adds, "they were so 'saturated' within its fabric that very few would have been visible from an aerial perspective at any given moment." Worthy of particular emphasis is Weizman's reference to a technique called "walking through walls":
Furthermore, soldiers used none of the streets, roads, alleys, or courtyards that constitute the syntax of the city, and none of the external doors, internal stairwells, and windows that constitute the order of buildings, but rather moved horizontally through party walls, and vertically through holes blasted in ceilings and floors.

Weizman goes on to interview a commander of the Israeli Paratrooper Brigade.

De repente veo una invasion por el medio de Floral Park o Trastalleres en este estilo y se me paran los pelos:

Comunicado de los Geologos Puertorrique/nos Sobre Haiti

citando de un email que recibi esta ma/nana:

Les hago llegar además tres links. El primero es un abstract de un paper de
varios autores, entre ellos Paul Man y Carol Prentice que predijo un terremoto
de 7.2 en el área. Este fue presentado en la Conferencia de Geología del
Caribe 2008, así que por favor, si alguien tiene la version completa del paper,
compartanla con todos.

El segundo me lo hizo llegar Arnaldo y Leandro, y es un artículo traducido de
un periódico Haitiano en el cual se habla de las advertencias dadas por un ex
profesor del Instituto Geologico de la Havana, Patrick Charles, sobre la
posibilidad inminente de un terremoto de al menos 7.2 en Puerto Príncipe.

El tercero es a una encuesta y comentarios abierta a lectores del periódico,
hay comentarios pre y post terremoto. Da una idea de los factores sociales de
este desastre.

Por favor todos los que puedan lean y aprendan al respecto ya que es labor de
todos orientar a los no-geólogos y al pueblo en general. Que todos estemos
preparados para contestar las preguntas que se nos hagan al respecto, ya sea un
reportero o juan del pueblo en la fila del colmado quien nos pregunta. Este es
un paso esencial en demostrarle a todos la importancia de nuestra profesión.

[original article in French]

Finalmente recordemos la corta memoria colectiva de nuestro pueblo. El buscon de orilla aparecera por todos lados. Ahora todos lo supieron. Ahora tuve una vision donde veia muchos muertos, terrible terrible. Esperen los talk shows de radio y television. Los astrologos del dia diciendo que era algo muy terrible para dejarlo saber de antemano.

Pat Robertson y Rush Limbaugh ya cogieron pon. Eso fue el diablo. Pero como alguien respondio en una carta al editor firmado por pobreza no es el estilo del diablo, los SUV y la opulencia si lo son.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Biofuels, Not Food for Fuel (Part 2)

Puerto Rico has a severe used tire problem. At some point Puerto Rico became the point where the excess tires of other states ended being stored. This was given our lack of vision of establishing a tire recycling program. Currently the practice of recycling in Puerto Rico is reduced to storing recyclable materials until a fire or environmental incident burns the material down. This bad press has killed any attempt to reuse tires as an energy source.

A couple of days ago I wrote the first part of this series on Biofuels. For those that have not read the original article it is included here:

On that article I summarized that Puerto Rico has a large amount of raw materials that can be used to generate biofuels or used as an energy source in PREPA power plants or other large kilns and furnaces available on the Island. Cemex tried this approach in Ponce and failed, given the opposition of 'environmentalists' that prefer the threat of a large scale fire, or a mosquito outbreak that is the typical fate of the tires in Puerto Rico. I stated several sources that could be used. Today I have decided to focus in used tires.

Why tires? Because I am reminded of the problem every day whenever I pass Comerio Avenue and see buildings filled with recapped or damaged tires waiting to be transported to a storage area where they are eventually burned 'accidentally'. Plus a whole recycling program was supposedly established to manage this issue and all it has left us is with more charges when we buy tires or oil for our cars. Tires fill our landfills.

So two things are needed to deviate tires from landfills. One is taking them out of the regular trash, as required by the recycling laws already written and the other implies shredding or reducing the size of the tire to be managed more effectively. Both require machinery.
The following excerpt is from american recycler:
Of the 290 million scrap tires generated in the United States annually, more than 80 percent are reused or recycled for sale into various markets. That’s up from just 17 percent in 1990. The biggest markets for scrap tires generally require shredding as part of the process and that’s turned into a good business for tire shredder manufacturers.also:
Overall, the future remains bright for shredder manufacturers and the customers they serve. As SSI’s Fleming says, “Scrap tires will continue to be a disposal problem, populations will continue to grow and consume more raw and recycled materials, and used tires will increasingly be needed in order to make longer-lasting new products as well as synthetic fuels and other valuable materials.”
So before even entering into using tires as a fuel or biofuel source they have a useful purpose by simply shredding them. Now that is interesting. It is something we should have been considering a long time in Puerto Rico but we still do not believe. For instance, I got interested on rubber mulch a few months ago when I saw these bags of rubber mulch in Sams Club at Bayamon. Bought 10 sacks because the product convinced me. It did not make the ground I wanted to cover impervious to water, as would have happened with concrete, but it would not rot and float away as that cheap imported pine mulch chips do.

Their product got me interested and I have included a picture and a link to their website. It is a nice idea that should be checked more often by municipal landscape designers as seen on the picture below.

If not as a mulch, smaller machines can be used to cut the tires to make bumpers, mats or other items...This one is a good idea for our economically challenged times.

However the operation of managing used tires is not as simple as it seems initially. It requires a huge capital investment and should be left to a properly planned and well designed central facility. For instance here are recommendations from one potential supplier of machinery of those seen during the research of tire recycling equipment:
Now, this only solves part of the problem. Fortunately there are other uses are available for the material shredded. It could be used to control excessive erosion of our public landfills or to control the nasty leachates produced from landfill runoff. This still does not require burning or converting the tires in fuel.

Preliminar studies indicate the leachate from tires is not toxic since below toxicity levels

Example of uses to control landfill leachate...

However, care must be taken on the disposal method of the used tires. The leachate removed chemicals are entrapped with the rubber in the tires, the metal in the tires remains. If burned or used as fuel these concentrations need to be studied further to not cause a larger environmental problem. This should not be an issue on residential or institutional use.

Summarizing this already technically complex article: Tires should be managed more efficiently than our current practice. Municipalities can benefit from mulching tires for landscaping.

On the end, if all these efforts fail the shredded tires can be used to generate fuel by direct burning on a kiln or power plant boiler. It can also be used to generate syngas and other biofuels. Some links on this below:
Burning increases the metal levels on the total ash but air emissions can be managed by pollution control equipment. It just requires more monitoring on the ash quality disposed of.

Or it can even be used to produced activated carbon for many industrial applications, including the removal of trihalomethanes on potable water. from []

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Montevideo Mecha

Just watch it, is that good. Giant mecha invade Montevideo...

y despues con rock pesado uruguayo

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Biofuels Not Food for Fuel

On a recent article the nature of Biofuels came into question. All this green revolution calls for hybrid cars, wind, recycling yet the United States goverment looks at Ethanol as a major source of energy. Instead of using traditional waste products like decomposed fruits and produce, or spent sugar cane waste (bagazo) to generate the fuel it is being lobbied to use corn and sugar beets from the mainland's foodbelt. Food for Power, which is a stupid way to go.

This discussion inspired Antigonum Cajan's article

for which I made the following comment:

biofuels are plain wrong when food is used to offset the carbon dioxide
emissions. the largest options to generate biogas, biodiesel,etc. are on the aaa
sewage plants and on agricultural waste. both can benefit from a centralized
waste treatment center using anaerobic treatment to generate methane while
eliminating a lot of waste to the landfill, and even beneficial byproducts such
as compost or mulch. hell, even the option of shredding and using tires as fuel
was ignored by 'environmentalists'. the tire problem is still there. not all
biofuels are created equal.

Antigonum Cajan's remark regarding biofuels is accurate. My point was very rushed, tried to cover too many bases at once. My point was -Not all biofuels are created equal-. If we truly want to harvest energy sources and go green, we need to find sources that are currently a waste. If not, the whole point of reuse is lost. Also, if one is to obtain energy the net production must be positive. If it takes more energy or cost to generate the energy sent to the grid then we are actually spending more energy than we did before. What is the point of recycle then? We ended worse than before.

[image from]

Way before this language of green buildings, LEED certifications, sustainability or even the Reduce Reuse and Recycle campaigns engineers, especially chemical engineers, were experts on what we knew as Loss Prevention. We did (and still do) a holistic analysis of a process and look at every feed stream, at every waste stream and every source of emission. A material balance, if I get 100 pounds in, I have to get 100 lbs out. All waste needs to be accounted for, either as a waste or as a potential product that can be recovered and reused. Waste is to be minimized. At least that was our original aspiration.

The approach used to push inefficient ethanol against other technologies is the effort of a large lobbying effort in Capitol Hill. Many have denounced this fiasco, as presented in this article from Rolling Stone of about 2 years ago (

From a technical standpoint corn ethanol is not a non viable ptocess. The problem is that to generate the fuel you spend energy at a ratio 1.3 to 1 for corn ethanol against a 5 to 1 ratio for gasoline. Plus the ethanol mixtures have a much lower heating value than that of other fuels. Therefore this is not a cost effective way of solving the energy crisis.

Therefore the potential is to use waste products to generate this energy. What problems does Puerto Rico currently have:
(a) Overloaded Landfills
(b) Inefficient Wastewater Plants with Deficient Solids Management
(c) Large farms with chicken, pig and horse manure
(d) Large amounts of vegetation that ends up in the landfill after pruning
(e) Surplus feeds of food wastes or decomissioned food (whatever happened to Pan American Grain's bug infested rice)
(f) Enormous amounts of damaged tires
These are the streams that need to be used to generate any power. Given the proper air pollution control devices and management of liquid and solid byproducts the wastes can be used to generate power to the electrical grid and any waste generated can be made into useful byproducts such as mulch, asphalt or concrete aggregates or sawdust.
There are many ways to achieve this (and will be discussed on further articles at the Alcantarilla), what we need is to have public officials with the interest of creating proper public policy. We also need to have proper 'environmentalists' that look realistically at any project comparing benefits and environmental impact. Not all progress is bad. You cannot just prohibit any type of construction at the expense of not constructing anything at all.
It is really an educational process for all involved. Puerto Rico is full of motivated professionals focusing on the ethical and correct approach to sustainability. The problem resides on two extremes: environmental activists that are really blocking the progress in Puerto Rico based on a political agenda who really give a hoot about the environment and the other extreme where those in charge of prociding assesment to our public policy officials only see the green reaching their pockets. If Puerto Rico is to go forward these two extremes need to disappear.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lewis Carroll y su Logica

Comence este articulo motivado por esta nueva version ilustrada de Alicia en el Pais de las Maravillas. No lo voy a ocultar, es una de mis historias favoritas. Y aparentemente no soy el unico puesto que cuanto 'geek' hay por ahi le hace referencia. La alusion del conejo, cayendo en el agujero fuera de esta realidad. No fue eso el tema medular de 'The Matrix'? o las referencias a la Reina de Corazones en Resident Evil?

Volviendo al tema me encanto estas nuevas version de las ilustraciones de esta historia, referenciada por el siempre bien conectado Boing Boing ( No importa cuantas versiones hagan, o lo trillado del concepto todos le dan su propio giro. Los limites del arte, si algunos se limitan a la imaginacion del artista. Y si te quedaste pensando en la version Disney de la historia se pierden tantos niveles de profundidad.

Lo que realmente encontre interesante fue que el libro satiriza la obsesion victoriana con la nuevamente formada formulacion de la logica simbolica y la incorporacion de numeros imaginarios y otros conceptos abstractos. Esto disimulado dentro de un libro de cuentos infantiles. Y el hecho es que esas retoricas y logicas circulares se expresan bien dentro del libro y son las que le dan ese caracter de universalidad.

New Scientist ha dedicado un interesante articulo a este tema el cual les incluyo aqui.

gracias a boingboing y a metafilter por las referencias

Y al que le guste, aqui informacion relacionada a Lewis Carrol y su relacion con la Logica...

Y al que tenga un poco mas de paciencia aqui esta algo de la Paradoja de Carroll, solo porque es interesante...

Ahora sigo, a ver si logro salir de una argumentacion circular que me esta volviendo loco ya...tiene como cincuenta pasos y el cuarentaynueve hace referencia a la primera y la cincuenta es vuelva a uno, ad infinitum...

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Vermeer y la Camera Obscura

El pasado articulo ( enfocaba en como Norman Rockwell usaba fotos de referencia para trabajar sus composiciones. Opine que eso no lo hacia ni mejor ni peor artista. La foto, como cualquier otros objeto, es una herramienta para el verdadero maestro.

Como siempre, el internet esta lleno de idiotas que asumen que esto es trampa y que se limita a calcar o copiar algo. El artista sabe que estos pasos son eso, pasos, pero que aun requiere gran vision artistica y geniosidad para lograr lo que se quiere. Como decia Rosa ... con la boca es un mamey, con el culo un foxtrot. Por que los humanos somos tan proensos en criticar al otro?

Volviendo al tema me hizo recordar unos articulos de internet que vi hacia 5 o 6 a/nos atras, relacionado a arte renacentista. Era un articulo similar a este:

Donde se discute la controversia que indica que los artistas renacentistas, en especial Vermeer, usaban la tecnica de Camara Obscura para generar una imagen y proyectarla sobre un lienzo para hacer trabajos de gran realismo. Esto seria el equivalente moderno de tomar una foto con un telefono digital y proyectarloa una pantalla de 72 pulgadas. Si hice una obra maestra fue porque calque la imagen en la pared.

Que se fastidie el genio, mi habilidad de trabajar colores y todo lo demas. Me copie y por lo tanto como pintor no val;es nada...que mal! En realidad es lo mismo, el uso de la tecnologia para mejorar las pinturas. Pero de nuevo al tema...Vermeer. La Camara Obscura. Se dice que el perfecciono la tecnica que usaron otros renacentistas como Caravaggio. La tecnica es optica, usa una caja oscura (caja puede ser un cuarto) donde se proyecta una imagen denrto de la caja con una peque/na perforacion a la pared. Funciona como un lente y la imagen proyecta invertida sobre digamos la pared de la camara. Se ve mejor en la imagen...

La controversia como siempre la traen ignorantes de internet que no saben nada de arte a leer una teoria Hockney - Falco que demuestra el uso de la camara obscura por las pistas que dejaron las perspectivas de los cuadros donde digamos las lineas rectas tienen cuvatura o los espejos tienen propiedades de concavidad cuando deben ser planos. Esa teoria se ilustra aqui ( Basicamente todo se basa en estudiar muchos cuadros renacentistas y tomar medidas para detectar perspectiva chueca, como con curvatura de lente...

...y como es tan 'facil' medir la hipotesis ya hasta lo dan como parte de un laboratorio de optica...

Pero una vez mas, es genial lo que la inventiva humana puede hacer. Wow! Camaras Obscuras desde hace tanto tiempo...Es una discusion sumamente interesante. En mi opinion demuestra esa chispa de genialidad que Dios le dio al hombre.

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Norman Rockwell's Reference Photographs

Norman Rockwell was one of America's Prime Illustrators. His photorealistic magazine covers and posters made him a household name. His illustrations are etched in our collective memory. But, if your memory is as bad as mine I have included a google image search below:
In addition to his biography...

I got interested on his creative process. The mechanics from which he created an idealized version of the United States. The Mayberry town. Happy folk. Walk to the river stuff. Have some hot coffee with the guys at the grocery store. Back when America was living in innocence. Before the interstate highways. That is where these two articles come in:

So...Rockwell used photographs as a reference point to create the pictures. Does this make him a lesser artist? In my opinion it doesn't. Some sketch, some make thumbnails, rough drafts, pencil sketches to get that perfect angle going. He went a step further. He comissioned familiy, friends and neighbors to pose for artistic black and white photographs where he adjusted the just perfect picture composition. No color photos, just plain black and white photographs.

This was a way to determine the perfect composition. Anyone can take a picture. Just push a button some may say. But the thought and artistic vision of arranging all the right elements and put them together is incredible. And this was just as a reference point.

Here is the reference picture used to generate the finalized art above. Note that most of the compositional elements are similar but the characteristics and implicit comedy are not on the picture. He modifies the art as he goes to make it comedic and entertaining. That was his genius. Want pure realism, just paste a picture. Want a soul, even if it is make believe, that is in the master's strokes.

Oh! - and by the way, there is no pun intended on the use of the marriage counselor art and the fact that Mildred and I celebrate our 17th aniversary today...

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Necesitamos Empezar a Reusar Agua

Leo este articulo en boing boing sobre la importancia del reuso de agua y como esto es un reto para esta generacion. Si, inicialmente me llamo la atencion por Cloacina, Diosa Romana del Alcantarillado, pero en si es un tema importante y el gobierno de turno debe empezar a enfocar en el reuso de aguas y ver como aplicarlas al riego, o como fuente para generar vapor en las termoelectricas. A la larga se mejora el ecosistema al reducir los contaminantes que ahora mismo van pasaditos por agua, por no decir cruditos, al mar mientras se benficia la industria al reducir la necesidad de extraccion de agua de pozos o de sacar agua de digamos los canales de riego de Lajas. Anyway, el articulo con el que empece esta nota:

Para muchos les es imposible entender como volver a usar aguas negras para riego de plantaciones, para flushear inodoros o Dios nos libre volverla a ingerir. Por tal razon nos volvemos locos comprando aguas embotelladas o confiamos (que remedio no?) de esa agua que recien trataron en Sergio Cuevas o en la planta de filtros municipal.

Sin embargo, con la gran cantidad de pozos septicos que aun cubren la isla en adicion de la gran cantidad de salideros sanitarios que vamos viendo vertiendo aguas negras a nuestros cuerpos de agua la gran realidad es que estamos bebiendo agua reciclada desde hace muchos a/nos.

Claro, no con el grado de tecnologia de las plantas modernas sino con la planta de filtros convencional, que tipicamente no remueve organicos y lo que hace es filtrar el agua por arena para aclararla un poco, sacarle algo mas de solidos con polimeros y coagulantes y un poquito de cloro para matar algun microorganismo.

Sin embargo, cuantas veces se ha propuesto instalar una planta con las mas altas tecnologias, con membranas de ultrafiltracion, osmosis inversa y filtracion de alta eficiencia con unos altos estandares de consumo nadie las auspicia.

Esta organizacion (Gustav Adolphus College) auspicio el siguiente simposio:
2009 Nobel Conference
H2O Uncertain ResourceNobel Conference XLV
October 6–7, 2009

Y hay varias charlas que provocan reconsiderar nuestras acciones en torno al recurso de agua.

Por ejemplo, este articulo es una excelente introduccion al tema:

Este otro articulo enfoca en programas de conservacion de agua, algo que todos podemos hacer:

  1. What You Can Do Right Now
    1. Responsible behavior with regard to the environment begins with you. Conserve wherever, however you can.
    2. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
    3. When taking a bath, put the stopper in the drain immediately. Adjust water temperature as tub fills.
    4.Use a hose equipped with an on-off nozzle to wash your car.
    5. Use a broom instead of a hose where possible to clean driveways, sidewalks, and walkways.
    6. Fix leaky faucets and install low-flow aerators on them.
    7. Do not rinse dishes in the dishwasher; run the dishwasher only when fully loaded.
    8. Replace old flush toilets with high-efficiency models that use less than 1.3 gallons per flush and perform better.
    9. Modernize with a front-loading washing machine, which uses less water, energy, and detergent than top-loading machines. In the future, it could be mandated.
    10. Swap out your thirsty grass lawn for less water-using gardens.
    11. Use a smart irrigation control system for watering your lawn or garden, so that you water in the coolest parts of the day and do not waste water when it rains.
    12. Be cognizant of every flush and consider the mantra: “If it’s brown, flush it down. If it’s yellow, let it mellow.”
    13. Eat less beef. Every hamburger requires 16,000 liters of water to produce.
    14. Buy more locally grown fruits and vegetables. Processed food and beverages and premade meals cost more water to produce than food straight from the farm.
    15. Be aware of what you bring home and where it’s going to end up when you’re done with it, especially chemicals. Consider seriously if you really need it.
    16. Test everything that you are contemplating—whether it’s a business deal or working for a piece of legislation—by asking: Does it contribute to the common good?
    17. Junk the junk mail and be persistent about being taken off catalog lists.
    18. Do not dump chemicals into the drain.
    19. Do not pour unused paint into the sewer system.
    20. Vote for people who value environmental resources.

Conservation is crucial and it makes a difference. If each American household reduced by one-third its water use, it would result in a savings of $18 billion annually. In the greater Los Angeles area, the population served by the regional water district has increased more than 4 million since 1990. But water consumption levels remain the same, because of the changes people have made.
By conserving water, you will cut back on electricity costs because getting clean water to your home requires energy. If one in every 100 American homes installed water-efficient structures this year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, we’d save enough coal-generated electricity to remove 80,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year—equivalent to removing nearly 15,000 cars from the road each year.

La politica publica de crear gigantescas plantas regionales de tratamiento debe ser reevaluada para determinar fuentes de reuso de esas aguas antes de descargarlas al oceano. Es la solucion tratar el efluente para digamos generar vapor en una termoelectrica? O es mejor hacver varias plantas pequenas, reduciendo la infraestructura necesaria para acarrear esas aguas a traves de toda la cordillera central?

Ahora que estan cayendo esos fondos ARRA roguemos que vayan al lugar correcto (beneficio de todos para mejorar la sustentabilidad del planeta) en vez de donde sabemos que van a acabar a(en las manos de unos pocos en proyectos 'verdes' pero solo de color verde o que implique sembrar grama en los techos de las casas).

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